From Rathlin to Iona - bottle message travels over 70 miles

It's anchors aweigh as Northern Ireland'"s leading maritime festival, the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, is launched. Taking place from Friday 22nd until Sunday 31st May there is something for land and sea lovers, with sailing, historic and modern craft, demonstrations, exhibitions and guided walks, seafood themed markets as well as great music and entertainment.'Launching the Festival is Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Causeway Coast and Glens, John Morton, Harbourmaster, and Stephen Ryan from Rathlin as the Viking. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN
It's anchors aweigh as Northern Ireland'"s leading maritime festival, the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, is launched. Taking place from Friday 22nd until Sunday 31st May there is something for land and sea lovers, with sailing, historic and modern craft, demonstrations, exhibitions and guided walks, seafood themed markets as well as great music and entertainment.'Launching the Festival is Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Causeway Coast and Glens, John Morton, Harbourmaster, and Stephen Ryan from Rathlin as the Viking. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN

A message in a bottle sent by 4-year-old Cara Chapple travelled over 70 miles across the Irish Sea and was found a year later in Iona, Scotland by holidaymakers.

Cara Chapple was visiting family in Rathlin, when she decided to put a message into a bottle and throw it into the Irish Sea, not knowing where it may end up!

One year later, the bottle washed up on a shore in Iona, and was found by Enkhee Henderson and her family, who were holidaying in Iona at the time, who then took to social media to trace Cara, and to let her know that her message arrived safely in Iona.

Cara was delighted that her message travelled so far, explaining: “I couldn’t believe that my message arrived in Scotland! I was so shocked to hear that it washed up, it must have been on such an adventure!”

Cara’s father, Rob explained: “The message was just a fun activity for us to do, we never thought it would have washed up somewhere and that we could be found over social media! It has been such an adventure for Cara, and it really adds to the magic of the Causeway Coast and Glens. We love Rathlin, and this has only added to our personal ties with the area.”

Caroline Carey, Tourism Officer at the Causeway Coast and Glens explained: “This has been such a nice story to emerge from Rathlin, and it is those stories and wonderful experiences that add to the attraction of the Causeway Coast and Glens. We all have our stories to tell about the area, and we really encourage any children who love interesting local stories about the area to come and listen to our ‘Children’s Storytelling with Liz Weir’s event on Sunday 24th May, from 2pm to 3pm, where internationally renowned Irish Story Teller, Liz Weir brings our maritime heritage to life!

“On Thursday 28th May, we are showing a ‘Days of old Rathlin and Ballycastle’ film in Ballycastle, at the Ballycastle Library at 6pm. This will be a wonderful event, harking back to our wonderful maritime heritage in the area, whilst on Rathlin, another night of storytelling kicks off as ‘A Boat Retold’ is shown at the Parochial Hall at 8pm, proving to be another event not to be missed!

“On Saturday 30th May, Ballycastle will host ‘A Talk on the Maritime History of Ballycastle’ at Ballycastle Library at 2pm. You could say we are a community full of local stories waiting to be told!”

For further information about the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, log on to www.heartofthecausewaycoastandglens.com/maritimefestival or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre on 028 2076 2024 or email ballycastlevic@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.